A Family Affair
by Luke Osteen
Normally, when I write these business introductions, I visit the shop, get a feel for the place, chat with the owner, and then work up a story.
Well, not only was I a visitor to Nearly New Furniture Consignment & Gifts, I’m also a customer.
My wife and I had scoured this corner of Western North Carolina looking for a loveseat that’d match our admittedly eclectic (some would say just-this-side-of-haphazard) decorating style and, this is important (remember, I’m a writer for a tiny magazine in a tiny community), was affordable.
Eventually we made our way to Nearly New, and, well, there she was, just waiting for us! The right colors, the right fabric, the right size, and (again, this is important), the right price.
We gratefully handed over the bucks to owner Mary McGrath Connor and introduced our new treasure to her spot in the living room. She’s very happy.
So, when I was assigned Nearly New for this issue of Laurel, I already had half of the story written. The other half was equally simple, because it turns out that Mary has no problem with self expression.
Rather than rely on writerly tricks to explain Mary and her bustling gallery to you, let me just introduce you to her directly:
“I moved here from Miami. Cashiers was our vacation place – just decided to up and move to this beautiful town.
“I’ve always enjoyed decorating and hunting for treasures for friends and family. It’s especially exciting finding things to bring back to life.
“I opened Nearly New in 1999.. with 800 square feet…, and had to expand rather quickly. Luckily, my daughter moved here and joined me 12 years ago.
“We are so lucky to be able to run this business together. It’s been a real family affair. All of my grandchildren grew up in my shop. Wasn’t sure I would make it a year and here we are at 20 … we have wonderful consignors and regular customers. Many we have known for all 20 years.
“The fun thing about our business is things change daily. New items come in constantly, which leads to more pricing and redecorating . We take great pride in arranging things so they coordinate and are pleasing to the eye.
“Other than business my life revolves around travel...mostly to any ocean. I love growing orchids and anything else in a pot. And spending time with my grandchildren.”
So there you have it – Mary McGrath Connor and her enchanting consignment shop. She’s done a pretty good job of telling you about the place, but really, you owe it to yourself to stop in. And since it’s always changing, stop in again.
Nearly New Furniture Consignment & Gifts is located at 60 Village Walk Way in Cashiers, just south of the Crossroads. For more information, call (828) 743-4033.